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Diving

I

Any boat with divers operating from it must always display signals by day or night to inform other boat users. The daytime signal for divers is an international Code Flag "A", at least 750mm long and 600mm wide.

During night time a boat must show the international lights to indicate that "a vessel is restricted in her ability to manoeuvre". These are three lights in a vertical line, the top and bottom are red and the middle one is white.

The diver's boat should also show other appropriate lights such as an anchor light. A diver who is not operating from a boat shall have a personal buoy with an "A" flag mounted on it. This flag should measure at least 300mm by 200mm. All boats must also keep at least 50 metres clear of boats or buoys showing diving signals.

Boating Tips for Divers

Planning
Before you depart from home leave a detailed copy of your plan for the day with a responsible friend. Be sure to tell them what time you are expected to return home.

The Coastguard are there for your safety. As soon as you are clear of the slipway, call them to test your radio and remember to log in with them before you venture out of the harbour.

Anchor and Line
Always check and ensure that your anchor and chain are in extremely good condition. The size of the line and chain, and the type and weight of your anchor should suit your particular boat as well as the type of bottom you intend to anchor in.

Ensure you have plenty of line to suit the depths of water that you normally anchor in (at least 3 to 5 times the depth of water) and don't forget to allow extra line for surge, tide and increased wind. We also recommend that you mouse shackles (use a piece of wire to prevent the pin from coming undone and falling out).

When you enter the water, swim down and check that your anchor is firmly embedded and that your anchor line is not likely to snag on a reef outcrop that may cause it to chafe through.

Weather Checks
Get an up-to-date weather forecast before you go. Sea Rescue Groups also offer up-to-date weather forecasts for the area you are operating in. Have contingency plans for bad weather.

During a one hour dive things on the surface can deteriorate rapidly with the arrival of the sea breeze.

Unattended Boats
The practice of divers leaving vessels unattended is very dangerous. The potential for disaster is real when vessels are left unattended by divers. DPI strongly recommends that a responsible person stays onboard your boat at all times whenever divers are below. This designated person may be required to raise an alarm if the diver is overdue to surface, to attend to the vessel should it start drifting or to assist divers back onboard after the dive.

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